In a recent article, a blue chip consulting organization posited a vision of marketing as being “the customer-engagement engine that orchestrates the delivery of the end-to-end customer experience.”
There are many notions floating around of what marketing actually does, but to me this presents a pretty good summary.
The customer experience is arguably as important as most financial measures – perhaps more so. If the customer experience is positive, it’s why someone buys your product or service and why they might recommend your company or brand to their friends and associates. If negative, the impact can be devastating. We all know how it feels to be disappointed or even angry in product or service delivery because we’ve all felt it. The stakes are high, so someone has to be in charge of defining and delivering that customer experience.
In the corner store, it’s the person on the counter – a simple touch point. This person is the CMO of the enterprise – and probably also the President, the HR manager, the accountant, etc.
In a business with more complexity, there will be numerous “touch points” – from the traditional advertising message, to the telephone customer service representative to the Facebook page. All of these contacts must be executed (and orchestrated) to deliver the desired customer experience.
And usually the part of the company which is responsible and accountable for delivering the customer experience is marketing.
Before marketing gets a swelled head, it’s important to note that those who do the “touching” may not actually report to marketing. But the job – and accountability – of defining what the desired customer experience should be, usually rests with marketing.
So think about your business. Think about the customer experience from end to end –from when your customer first becomes aware of your product, to when they compare features versus your competition on the Internet, to when they make enquires of your online or call centre CSRs, to when they have the product shipped, to when there’s a follow-up to see whether they are happy with the purchase.
Has the desired customer experience been defined in your organization and who is in charge of orchestrating the experience?
To my mind, this is marketing’s critical role.